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latitude

[lat-i-tood, -tyood] /ˈlæt ɪˌtud, -ˌtyud/
noun
1.
Geography.
  1. the angular distance north or south from the equator of a point on the earth's surface, measured on the meridian of the point.
  2. a place or region as marked by this distance.
2.
freedom from narrow restrictions; freedom of action, opinion, etc.:
He allowed his children a fair amount of latitude.
4.
Photography. the ability of an emulsion to record the brightness values of a subject in their true proportion to one another, expressed as the ratio of the amount of brightness in the darkest possible value to the amount of brightness in the brightest:
a latitude of 1 to 128.
Origin
1350-1400
1350-1400; Middle English < Latin lātitūdō breadth, equivalent to lāt(us) broad + -i- -i- + -tūdō -tude
Can be confused
latitude, longitude.
Synonyms
2. extent, liberty, indulgence. See range.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for latitude

latitude

/ˈlætɪˌtjuːd/
noun
1.
  1. an angular distance in degrees north or south of the equator (latitude 0°), equal to the angle subtended at the centre of the globe by the meridian between the equator and the point in question
  2. (often pl) a region considered with regard to its distance from the equator See longitude (sense 1)
2.
scope for freedom of action, thought, etc; freedom from restriction: his parents gave him a great deal of latitude
3.
(photog) the range of exposure over which a photographic emulsion gives an acceptable negative
4.
(astronomy) See celestial latitude
Derived Forms
latitudinal, adjective
latitudinally, adverb
Word Origin
C14: from Latin lātitūdō, from lātus broad
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for latitude
n.

late 14c., "breadth," from Old French latitude (13c.) and directly from Latin latitudo "breadth, width, extent, size," from latus "wide," from PIE root *stele- "to spread" (cf. Old Church Slavonic steljo "to spread out," Armenian lain "broad"). Geographical sense also is from late 14c., literally "breadth" of a map of the known world. Figurative sense of "allowable degree of variation" is early 15c. Related: Latitudinal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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latitude in Science
latitude
  (lāt'ĭ-td')   
  1. A measure of relative position north or south on the Earth's surface, measured in degrees from the equator, which has a latitude of 0°, with the poles having a latitude of 90° north and south. The distance of a degree of latitude is about 69 statute miles or 60 nautical miles (111 km). Latitude and longitude are the coordinates that together identify all positions on the Earth's surface. Compare longitude.

  2. Celestial latitude.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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latitude in Culture

latitude definition


The measurement, in degrees, of a place's distance north or south of the equator. (Compare longitude.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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